By: Abbey Lipcsik
The 2016 Hiram College women's soccer team will enter the season with hopes of building off of last season's success. In 2015, the Terriers posted their most ever wins in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) (2) and also defeated rival Allegheny (Pa.) for the first time in program history. Second-year head coach Mike Cracas continues to lead the program and looks to take the next step.
The Terriers saw four seniors depart from last year's team that posted a 6-12-0 overall record and a 2-6-0 mark in the NCAC. But Cracas sees a full team also returning, featuring 20 letterwinners from last season.
"I am excited for the upcoming season," said Cracas. "We were able to finish last season strong. We hope to ride the wave of momentum into this upcoming season."
Hiram welcomes back talent up front. Senior Katelyn Mauch (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) returns after coming off a career-best season. She was awarded Second Team All-NCAC after posting career-highs in goals (9), assists (2), and points (20).
Senior Alison Cowell (Bridgeton, Mo./Duchense) played in all 18 contests last season. Ranking third on the team, Cowell tied her career-high in goals (4) and set a new career-high in assists (3).
Senior Emily Syrjala (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep) made her presence known early on last season when she recorded a hat trick in the season opening 8-0 win over Thiel (Pa.). She continued to receive valuable playing time throughout the season, playing 15 matches and starting 6 of them.
Other returning forwards include senior Samantha Fox (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Brush), junior Emily Fenn, junior Delaney Stryczek (Montgomery, Ill./Kaneland) and sophomore Zoe Sajen (Mayfield Heights, Ohio/Mayfield). Up front, Hiram also welcomes newcomers in senior Antonija Lozancic (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North), freshman Lauren Caldwell (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls), freshman Isabel Ebel (Pompano Beach, Fla./Coral Springs) and freshman Grace Murray (Wooster, Ohio/Central Christian).
Senior Allie Glatt (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) has the potential to shatter four program records this season in goals, assists, shots and points. The two-time All-NCAC honoree led the NCAC in goals (12) and points (31) while tying for the conference lead in assists (7). Her 31 points were a new single season program record and her 12 goals were second most in single season program history.
The Terriers also bring back senior Abbey Rowe (Mt. Orab, Ohio/Lynchburg-Clay). Rowe played in all 18 matches last season and tied for third on the team in goals (4). She was named Honorable Mention All-NCAC in the previous two seasons.
Senior Kaitlin Zemanski (Munroe Falls, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) will continue to make an impact as a midfielder for the Terriers. Zemanski started 17 of 18 matches last season, scoring two goals and recording two assists. She was also named Honorable Mention All-NCAC.
Senior Ashley Myer (Parma, Ohio/Parma) returns to the field after suffering a season ending ACL injury last season. However, she did appear in four games, during which she scored one goal.
Other returning midfielders include sophomore Sophie Bell (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill). The Terriers will also lean on newcomer in freshman Val Lauderback (Eastlake, Ohio/Lake Catholic) to provide depth and more skill at midfield.
On defense, Hiram returns the core of its defense. Senior Bailey Norton (Kent, Ohio/ Stow-Munroe Falls) returns after appearing in 15 matches last season and starting 14 of them. Junior Rebecca Fischer (Mansfield, Ohio/ Mansfield Senior) also looks to be a defensive standout. Fischer joined the Terriers at the beginning of last season after transferring from Alderson Broddus (Pa.). She started in 10 of the 16 matches she played.
Senior Genna Atkins (Eureka, Mo./Eureka) also returns after transitioning to the back last season. Atkins saw action in all 18 games on defense.
Other defenders include junior Lisa Dano (Naperville, Ill./Oswego), junior Holly Knight (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Northwest), and sophomore Meagan McCoy (Bay Village, Ohio/ Bay Village). The returning defenders will be pushed by a talented group of freshman which include, Jasmine Kemp (Rootstown, Ohio/Rootstown), Emma Kovach (Fairview Park, Ohio/Fairview Park) and Miranda Miracle (Southington, Ohio/Labrae).
Hiram will turn to junior Alina Mille (Medina, Ohio/Medina) to protect the goal this season. Mille played in 19 career matches and has started in six of them. She owns 52 saves and has two shutouts. However, she will have some competition as freshman Ally Green (Stow, Ohio/ Stow-Munroe Falls) enters the scene in her first year as a Terrier.
The Terriers will begin the 2016 campaign on September 1 with six consecutive non-conference matches. The team opens their season in an away contest against non-conference foe Thiel (Pa.). Hiram will then face Case Western, Marietta, Grove City (Pa.), John Carroll, and Bethany (W.Va.).
Hiram will begin conference action on September 24 with an away match against rival Wooster. The Terriers will then host Denison, DePauw (Ind.) and Allegheny (Pa.), while also traveling to Kenyon, Wittenberg, and Oberlin. Other non-conference matches this season include a road matchup against Otterbein and a home matchup against Rochester (Mich.). The season finale for the Terriers will be at home on October 29 when they face Ohio Wesleyan on Senior Night.